Let’s be realistic. Technology use in an elementary classroom takes forever. You know that lesson that should’ve taken 15 minutes, took 25 just to get everyone logged in? You might even be brave enough to try it again… 30 minutes later… “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Right?
But our students can’t wait. In a world where extremes are the norm, falsities become “facts,” and social media can influence elections, there is too much at stake. Technology use invites critical thinking: what’s real? what’s not? how do you know? who cares?
How can our kids learn the content and technology skills? Careful planning and commitment by teachers in all grades and subjects. The more students use technology, the faster they get, and then the real magic happens…self-directed, engaged learning.
It truly is overwhelming. So, like we do with our students, we take the first step without looking too far. To conquer our fears, I’d like to introduce step one in our battle between time and technology.
Teachers need to become familiar with the most common tools students will use in and out of school. G-suite apps. iMovie. Youtube. Twitter. MS Office. Use them, ask for assistance, actively seek training opportunities, or try one of my favorite learning methods: side-by-side using Chrome’s Tab Scissors extension with YouTube on one side and the task at hand on the other. Play. Pause. Practice. Repeat. If we want our students to be independent problem-solvers, we must be sure to do this ourselves. So when it takes an hour to do something that should take 10 minutes (say, creating a Twitter account), that 30 minutes those 7-year-olds spent logging in doesn’t seem so bad afterall.